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The change marks a triumph for the National Arts Collection Fund, the UK’s leading art charity, which has spearheaded the campaign for a VAT review after the old rules threatened to force free entry museums to introduce charges in order to recover the tax they paid.

It also means that, subject to compensatory funding, charging institutions will be able to introduce free entry without fear of being penalised over VAT. “We will no longer have the ludicrous situation of the government funding museums, only to claw money back through VAT.”

Ironically, it is the NACF who stand to lose most from the change. A significant benefit to members has traditionally been cutprice or free admission to charging museums. The Fund was well aware of this when launching its campaign but argued that it was more important to protect free admission to museums where possible than to protect its own perk.